To Drop Ship or Not to Drop Ship

I promised in the last article that I would talk about different selling platforms in future articles.  I will do that.  Today I am going to step it back a little bit and talk about one of the product sourcing options you will have.  You can make or purchase products to sell.  Both of those require an outlay of cash and a space to keep your inventory.  Another option is offering items from companies that will drop ship directly to your customers.

Here’s how drop shipping works.  You set up your shop online.  You sign up with a company to be able to sell their products.  You market and get the customer.  You collect the money and then order from the company and they ship directly to your customer.  When you order from the company you pay less than retail for the order and pocket the difference between what the customer paid you and what the company charges you.  Sounds great, right?

That’s the rosy side of selling product from a drop shipping company.  Let’s talk about some of the challenges.

Out of Stock – sometimes a product will go out of stock and take what seems like an unreasonable amount of time to be ready to ship.  In this case you are the face of the order.  Your customer may not be happy to wait weeks for the item to become available again and you are powerless to get the product any quicker for the customer.  Some drop shipping companies publish a list of out of stock items weekly to allow their client companies to make a note to not offer those items until they are back in stock. That is one of the best options.  However, it does take staying on top of those lists.  Most of the time you will not know an item is out of stock until a customer orders it and you try to place the order with the company.

Shipping Charges – it is important that your business model is such that you are charging enough shipping on the order without charging what might seem unreasonable to your customer.  If you are working with multiple drop shippers, you will run into orders that include product from more than one company.  That means you are paying multiple shipping charges on one order.  The customer is ordering from one shop and will expect shipping to be a combined shipping cost.  This is a bit of a balancing act.

Discontinued Items – you will need to stay on top of items that are discontinued from your drop shipper, so you can remove them from your stock.

So, when crafting your business model, you need to weigh the pros against the cons and address how you will deal with those cons before jumping in to offer products from drop shippers.

With all of this in mind the next question is “Where do I find all of these companies that will drop ship?”

 

I do not have a comprehensive list but can list a few here.  I would love to have a larger list so, if any of you have knowledge of any other drop ship companies please comment with information on them and we’ll add them to this list.

 

Arcadia Marketplace

This company carries candles, oils, smudge sprays and books.  They carry candles, oils, smudge sprays and some books.

Azure Green

One of the most well-known drop shipping companies offering Pagan type products is Azure Green.  Their product line includes statuary, books, decks, wands, athames, candles, herbs, gemstones, oils, jewelry and all kinds of other supplies and tools Pagans use.  There is a lot of competition out there selling Azure Green products.  There are also a lot of customers ordering their items from multiple sellers.

BadAssTribe.com

They sell a list of companies that will drop ship.

Charissa’s Cauldron

This is a shameless plug for my products.  I offer a drop ship program for the Charissa’s Cauldron brand products (Crystal and Flower Essences, Conjure Waters, Goddess Waters and Lunar Waters).  I will leave it to you to read the page that explains how it works.

NewAgeReseller.com

They offer a list of wholesalers that will drop ship for purchase.

StarLinksGifts.com

They sell spiritual jewelry.

SwordsAxe.com

They sell swords, knives, LARP gear and some other goodies.

WiccanSupplier.com

They offer a sizable catalog and will drop ship.

 

About the author:  Charissa founded the Pagan Business NetworkNorth Georgia Solitaries and sits on the board of directors for Universal Society for Ancient Ministry.  She co-owns Pagan Markets with Sadie Odinsdottir of Sleeping Gryphon and co-owns Silver Pines GiftsCharissa’s Cauldron and Kit’s Flea and owns Sacred Grove Radio.

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